Daily Current Affairs: 2nd October 2019: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
93rd Foundation Day of UPSC
Context: Recently, the 93rd Foundation Day of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) was celebrated on 1st October 2019.
Few Points to remember regarding UPSC
- UPSC is India’s most important central recruiting agency which is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. (While UPSC is the central recruiting agency, Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.)
- It was established on 1 October 1926 as Public Service Commission, and was later reconstituted as Federal Public Service Commission by the Government of India Act, 1935. After the Independence of India, it was finally renamed as the today’s Union Public Service Commission.
- UPSC is a constitutional authority whose charter is granted by Part XIV of the Indian Constitution, titled as Services Under the Union and the States.
- Government is required to consult UPSC in matters relating to the appointment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary matters.
- UPSC reports directly to the President of India and can give the non-binding advice to the Government through him.
- Headquarter of UPSC is located at Dholpur House, in New Delhi.
- Since June 2018, Arvind Saxena has been on the role of Chairman of UPSC.
- Appointment of Chairman and Members of UPSC and their service conditions:
- The Chairman and other members of UPSC are appointed by the President of India. (Art. 316)
- Almost half of the members of UPSC shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for at least 10 years either under the GoI or under the Government of any State. (Art. 318)
- A member of a UPSC shall hold office for a term of 6 years or until the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. (Art. 318)
- The number of members and their service conditions (which cannot be varied to their to disadvantage after their appointment) are not fixed and are decided upon by the President. (Art. 318)
- Chairman of UPSC is ineligible for re-appointment to that office after the expiration of the term. However, in case of a member other than the Chairman of the UPSC shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the UPSC, or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission (SPSC), but not for any other employment either under the G/o India or under the State Government. (Art. 319)
- The Chairman of a SPSC will be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the UPSC. (Art. 319)
- Removal and Suspension:
- The Chairman and any other member of the Commission can submit his resignation at any time to the President of India.
- The Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission can only be removed from their office by order of the President on the ground of “misbehaviour” after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry reported that the Chairman or such other member ought to be removed.
- The President may also remove the Chairman or any other member of the commission if they:
- are proved to be an insolvent; or
- engages in any kind of paid employment outside their official duties during their term of office; or
- is in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of unsound mind or body; or
- The Chairman or any other member cannot hold an office of profit or otherwise they shall be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.
- The expenses of the UPSC, including any salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
- The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the UPSC (Members) Regulations, 1969.
The Gandhian Challenge
Context: ‘The Gandhian Challenge’ has been jointly launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and UNICEF India, including Generation Unlimited on 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi.
Key Highlights of the Challenge
- This innovation challenge put forward a platform for every child across India to bring out innovative solutions for a sustainable India of their dreams, using the Gandhian principles.
- The contest is open for every child in India from 2 October to 20 October and it also celebrates 70 years of partnership between Government of India and UNICEF India to enable Every Right for Every Child.
- Problem statement for the Gandhian Challenge: “Share your innovative solutions/ideas to create a futuristic and sustainable world of your dreams, following Gandhi’s principles.”
- Categories through which Ideas and solutions to the Gandhian Challenge may be expressed includes:
- Art & Innovation (Letters, poems, painting, videos and photos, among others) and
- Science, Technology & Innovation (Robotics, IoT, sensors and 3D printers, among others).
ABOUT ATAL INNOVATION MISSION
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the GoI’s flagship initiative that promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. Its major objective is to develop new programmes and policies that will foster innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country. The 6 major initiatives of AIM include:
- Atal Tinkering Labs to create problem-solving mindset across schools in India.
- Atal Incubation Centers to foster world class start-ups and to add a new dimension to the incubator model.
- Atal New India Challenges to foster product innovations and to align them to the needs of various sectors/ministries.
- Mentor India Campaign as a national Mentor network in collaboration with public sector, corporates and institutions, to support all the initiatives of the mission.
- Atal Community Innovation Center to stimulate community centric innovation and ideas in the unserved /underserved regions of the country including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
- ARISE in order to stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.
About UNICEF India and Generation Unlimited UNICEF is an integral part of the United Nations, that works with governments, communities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other partners worldwide to advance children’s rights, and is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Generation Unlimited is a new UNICEF-led global partnership which aims to ensure that every young person of 10-24 years age is in some form of school, learning, training, self-employment, or age-appropriate employment by 2030. Its major aim is to co-create and scale up proven solutions related to secondary age-education, skills for learning, employability and decent work, and empowerment, with a focus on girls.
Paryatan Parv 2019
Context: “Paryatan Parv 2019” was recently inaugurated by the Minister of Petroleum &Natural Gas and Minister of Steel. Paryatan Parv 2019 has been organized by the Ministry of Tourism and will be held from 2nd to 13th October, 2019 across the country.
The main idea of event is to propagate the message of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, with an objective to encourage Indians to visit various tourist destinations of the country and to spread the message of ‘Tourism for All’. This years Paryatan Parv is dedicated to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi. The three major components of Paryatan Parv, are:
- Dekho Apna Desh: This component is envisioned at encouraging Indians to visit their own country. As part of the Parv, under this component, several activities have been organised across the Country like Photography contest covering tourism attractions and experiences, promotion on Social Media, Tourism related Quiz, Essay, Debate and Painting Competitions for Students.
- Tourism for All: Under this component, a number of Tourism Events at sites across all States in the country are being organised. The activities at these sites will include illumination in and around the Sites, Cultural Programmes of Dance, Music, Theatre, Story Telling, Sensitisation Programmes for Stakeholders around the Sites, Tourism Exhibitions, Showcasing Culture, Cuisine and Handicrafts / Handlooms, Guided Heritage Walks, etc.
- Tourism & Governance: As a part of the Paryatan parv activities, Interactive Sessions & Workshops with Stakeholders on varied themes have been organised across the Country.
Vayoshreshtha Samman – 2019
Context: To mark the ‘International Day of older Persons’ which is celebrated every year on 1st October since the year 2005, President of India is set to confer the “Vayoshreshtha Samman-2019” on the eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons. About the Award Vayoshreshtha Samman is a Scheme of awards which has been instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (D/o Social Justice & Empowerment). It gradually upgraded to the status of National Awards, for those institutions who are involved in rendering exceptional service for the cause of elderly persons.
The Vayoshreshtha Samman is presented as part of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October. With the help of these National Awards an attempt is made to show the Government’s concern for senior citizens and its commitment towards them with the aim of strengthening their position in the society. The recipients for the Award are drawn from diverse fields and are given to institutions/organisations/individuals from any part of the country. Nominations are also invited from Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies. As per the Scheme of the Award, nominations are invited from:
- Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and their autonomous organisations;
- State Governments/UT Administrations;
- Past recipients of Padma Award; Vayoshreshtha Samman and other National Awards in both individual and institutional categories;
- Members of the National Council for Senior Citizens;
- Renowned Apex Chambers like FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, etc.
Context: Recently Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has launched the ‘Consumer App’ in order to fast-track consumer grievance redressal process and provide an effective forum for consumers to give their valuable suggestions to the Department on consumer related issues.
- The app aims to provide a one stop solution for consumer grievance redressal at the palm of every consumer across the nation via mobile phones.
- This Consumer App is being loaded with various consumer-centric features which will benefit both Consumers and the Government. In the app, Consumers can sign-up with an OTP (one time password) and create an user ID and password to use the app.
- With the help of this app, consumers will be able to lodge complaints / Grievances directly through this app which then will be taken up with companies for quick redressal.
- Another important feature to track the lodged grievances is also built in this app. A number of important links that will be useful to the consumers are also available in the app.
- The knowledge base provided in the app is a very useful feature that will help consumers get information pertaining to 42 Sectors including Consumer Durables, Electronic Products, e-commerce, Banking, Insurance, etc.
- Consumers can use this app in Hindi and English on both Android and IoS platforms.
- Further, this App can be downloaded free of cost from Google Play Store or App Store for Apple.
Context: Arogya Manthan is a 2-day event which is organized by the National Health Authority, to mark the completion of 1 year of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY.
The main purpose of the Arogya Manthan is to provide a platform to meet for all the important stakeholders of PM-JAY to meet and discuss the challenges which are faced in the implementation of the scheme in the previous year and to forge new understanding and pathways to improve implementation.
‘Ayushman Bharat Start-Up Grand Challenge’ and a commemorative stamp was also launched during the occasion. About Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). It is an umbrella scheme comprising two major health initiatives, namely Health and wellness Centres and National Health Protection Scheme. Benefits under AB-PMJAY
- AB-PMJAY provides a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
- There will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme to ensure that no one is left out.
- Pre and post-hospitalisation expenses are also covered under the scheme.
- All the pre-existing conditions will be covered under the policy. Also, a defined transport allowance per hospitalization will also be paid to the beneficiary.
- A beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals all over the country.
- Further, the beneficiaries will be able to avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. It is to be noted that all the public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme.
- Hospitals that belongs to Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) may also be empanelled based on the bed-occupancy-ratio parameter. In case of private hospitals, they will be empanelled online based on defined criteria.
- In order to control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate basis which is to be defined by the Government in advance. These package rates will include all the costs associated with treatment.
- For the beneficiaries, it will be a cashless and paper less transaction.
Who all are eligible under the Scheme? AB-PMJAY is an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database. The different categories in rural and urban areas include:
- Families having only one room with kucha walls and kucha roof;
- Families having no adult member between age 16 to 59;
- Female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59;
- Disabled member and no able bodied adult member in the family;
- SC/ST households;
- Landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour,
- Families in rural areas having any one of the following: households without shelter, destitute, living on alms, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labour.
An old dried-up river that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers has been excavated in Pragraj (formerly Allahabad) by Union Ministry of Water. The river so excavated is about 4 km wide, 45 km long and have 15-m-thick layer buried under soil. The river is supposed to be a Paleochannel that joins Yamuna river at Durgapur Village, which is about 26 km south of the present Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Pragraj. The discovery was made in December 2018 by a team of researchers from the CSIR-NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute) and the Central Groundwater Board. To be kept in mind is the Paleochannel, which is a remnant of an inactive river or stream that has been filled or buried by younger sediment. These typically acts as pathways for groundwater movement and to provide a potential source of Groundwater.
In Music, ‘Portamento’ is a term that has been used for hundreds of years, referring to the effect of gliding a note at one pitch into a note of a lower or higher pitch. Recently, an MIT student has invented a novel algorithm that produces a portamento effect between any two audio signals in real-time. It is to be noted that only instruments that can continuously vary in pitch can pull off this effect. These includes Human voice, String Instruments and Trombones etc. The algorithm so developed rely on ‘Optimal transport’ which is a geometry-based framework that determines the most efficient ways to move objects – or data points – between multiple origin and destination configurations.
It is a new mineral that has been discovered inside a diamond unearthed from a mine in Koffiefontein, South Africa. It has been named after the Norwegian Scientist, Victor Moritz Goldschmidt who acknoledged as founder of modern geochemistry. This mineral has a high concentration of Niobium, Potassium and the rare earth elements Lanthanum and Cerium. It was found as a single grain of the mineral in diamond and is described as dark green and opaque. SALAR DE UYUNI Beneath the Salar de Uyuni salt flat, there exists the world’s largest lithium reserves in Bolivia, which is one of the poorest country in South America. With the lithium prices more than doubling in recent years, as demand for electric vehicles and smart devices (powered by lithium-ion batteries) escalates, Bolivia sees an opportunity to boost its economy. Salar De Uyuni is located near the crest of the Andes and was formed as a transformations between a number of pre-historic lakes. To an estimate, it contains 50% to 70% of the world’s known lithium reserves.
G5 SAHEL IN WEST AFRICA
G5 Sahel task force is an anti-terror force in the Sahel region of West Africa which comprises of 5 nation. This initiative is led by France which is fighting against jihadists in West Africa with its 4,000-strong regional Barkhane force. It is headquartered at Nouakchott, Mauritania and comprises Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. LOCATION OF SAHEL BELT The Sahel Belt is a semi-arid tropical savanna eco-region in Africa, which forms a transitional zone between the Sahara Desert to the north and the more humid savanna belt to the south. It stretches across the south-central latitudes of North Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects
It has been produced by the Population Division of the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to reflect the urbanization in Developing Asia which is a group of 45 countries that are members of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Report found that between 1970 to 2017, the urban population in Developing Asia group of countries grew five-fold from 375 million to 1.84 billion. China and India comprises about 2/3rd of the nearly 1.5.billion additional city dwellers in Developing Asia. Developing Asia urbanised faster than the rest of the world not only in terms of absolute growth, but also in terms of growth rate. The urban population in this region hiked up at an average 3.4% per annum from 1970 to 2017. This increment was much faster than the 2.6% in the rest of the developing world and 1.0% in the developed world. The Report also noticed that within the Developing Asia region, East Asia had the highest annual growth rate at 3.7% followed by Southeast Asia at 3.6%, and South Asia at 3.3%. The Pacific saw an annual growth rate of 2.9% in the urban population, and Central Asia witnessed a 1.6% annual growth.